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SRQ DAILY Sep 19, 2019

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"Let the record show there is little disagreement that Selby Gardens is appreciated."

- Eileen Normile, Sarasota City Commission

-GOLFTOON 45: GOLF MAXIM. We all are familiar with the modern proverb,
[Planning]  Selby Gardens Makes Case to Planning Board
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ leadership team made its case to Sarasota Planning Board for why it must upgrade facilities. But neighbors concerned about increased traffic and imposing structures, particularly a parking structure fronting Mound Avenue, also showed up in force to voice concerns.

Ultimately, the Planning Board took no vote, as extended public comments forced the issue to be tabled until the next meeting. Once the Planning Board makes recommendations on a series of items related to the plan, the matter will go to the Sarasota City Commission.

Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO for Selby Gardens, stressed the plan needed to move ahead in order to advance the institution’s global reputation for biodiverse botanical research while also establishing a sustainable business model. She stressed plans for new construction will all take place on property acquired by Selby Gardens through the years.

“The Gardens we all know and love will not be changed, including Marie Selby’s historic home,” she said.

She drew guffaws, though, at an insistence on calling the most controversial part of the plan a “sky garden.” The term “parking garage" didn’t suffice, she said, because the building would house a new restaurant, edible garden, plant shop and solar array to make the facility the only energy net-positive botanical garden anywhere.

Neighbors from adjacent Hudson Crossings and nearby Hudson Bayou, though, have expressed strong reservations the plan would turn Selby Gardens into an entertainment venue, generating tremendous traffic and imposing structures that changed the character of the historic neighborhood.

The Planning Board meeting on Wednesday, though, devoted little time to public input, which will take place principally in an upcoming meeting. Rather, Planning Board members spent hours hearing from city staff about the details of creating a special zoning district for the master plan, including how commitments made by Selby Gardens today will be enforced in the future. City officials say enshrining plans in code will mean any significant deviation from a plan requires a new application and going through the lengthy planning process anew.

Planning Board Chair Eileen Normile early on tried to keep focus on planning disputes instead of attacks on motivations. She asked early if anyone who hated the gardens would indicate that and only one hand raised. Then she asked who loved the Gardens, and both critics of the master plan in yellow shirts and supporters garbed in green cheered.

“Let the record show there is little disagreement that Selby Gardens is appreciated,” she said.

The Planning Board next meets on Sept. 25 at 1:30 p.m. 

[Government]  Manatee County Discussing Stormwater Program Funding

During a work session yesterday, Manatee County Commissioners discussed the County's stormwater program and how to fund it into the future to improve drainage and local water quality.

Commissioners are considering a stormwater fee, similar to that imposed by Manatee County's six municipalities and several neighboring counties, to pay for the County’s Stormwater Program, which has been funded since the early 1990s by mostly solid waste fees and property tax revenues. Public Works has proposed two separate stormwater fee rates. The first, an $8.62/month fee for the average-sized single family home, would bring in $17.4 million annually beginning 2021. A separate proposed rate of $12.55/month for the average sized single family home would bring in $25.39 million annually beginning 2021. The higher rate would fund enhance the stormwater program, meaning more frequent canal cleaning, pond spraying and street sweeping and a more efficient overall stormwater maintenance system.

Next Tuesday, September 24, the Commission will discuss the proposed stormwater rate and they are expected to authorize a public outreach campaign this fall to educate Manatee County residents about the program and the proposed fee. No vote will be taken on the proposed stormwater fee until after the public outreach campaign is complete.  

Manatee County Public Works Department

[Government]  Manatee County Accepting Applications for Infrastructure Sales Tax Oversight Committee

Manatee County is accepting applications for one seat for a citizens advisory committee that makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners on Infrastructure Sales Tax. The committee meets periodically to prepare an annual report to the Board of County Commissioners, which reviews expenditures of the voter-approved half-cent sales tax. All meetings are publicly noticed and open to the public. To qualify, applicants must live in unincorporated areas of Manatee County. The term for a seat on the committee expires in April, 2022.

Applications are due Oct. 18 and may be found online at the website below. 

Manatee County Advisory Boards

[Law]  Fergeson Skipper Attorneys Recognized in 2020 Best Lawyers in America

Five attorneys from Sarasota’s Fergeson Skipper, P.A. have been selected for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in AmericaRecognized as one of the most reliable, unbiased sources for legal referrals for nearly 40 years, the annual listing is organized by Best Lawyers, the only purely peer-review guide to the legal profession. The 2020 edition is based on the results of over 8.3 million votes and includes more than 62,000 lawyers representing approximately 5% of those in private practice in the United States. The following Fergeson Skipper attorneys have received this distinguished recognition:

James O. Fergeson, Jr., Business Organizations (including LLCs and partnerships), Tax Law and Trusts and Estates; J. Ronald Skipper, Trusts and Estates; Richard R. Gans, Business Organizations (including LLCs and partnerships) and Trusts and Estates; Matthew B. Mayber, Tax Law; and E. Ralph Tirabassi, Real Estate Law.

All five of the Fergeson Skipper attorneys have been included in the listing for previous years. All are board-certified by The Florida Bar in their areas of expertise. In addition, each holds AV Preeminent Peer Review Ratings from the attorney rating site Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating available for an attorney’s legal ability and professional ethics. 

Fergeson Skipper

[Law]  Nine Williams Parker Attorneys Named to 'Best Lawyers in America'

Williams Parker has announced that several of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 26th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. The attorneys named to the 2020 list include Charles D. Bailey, Jr. (Land Use and Zoning), John T. Berteau (Trusts and Estates), Ric Gregoria (Trusts and Estates), Michele B. Grimes (Real Estate Law), J. Michael Hartenstine (Real Estate Law), Patrick W. Ryskamp (Real Estate Law), William M. Seider (Real Estate Law), James L. Turner (Real Estate Law and Trusts and Estates) and E. John Wagner, II (Tax Law). Additionally, Gregoria has been recognized as a 2020 "Lawyer of the Year" recipient, an honor which recognizes individual attorneys with the highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area and geographic region.

Selection to Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive and rigorous peer-review survey comprising over 6 million confidential evaluations by attorneys across the country. Because no fee or purchase is required, being listed in Best Lawyers is a singular honor. 

Williams Parker

[Business]  Sessions Awarded 2019 Clyde Nixon Business Leadership Award

David E. Sessions, President/CEO of Willis Smith Construction, has received the Sarasota County Economic Development Corporation 2019 Clyde Nixon Business Leadership Award. The award acknowledges a business leader in Sarasota County who embodies the personal and business values demonstrated by the late Clyde Nixon, former Chairman of Sun Hydraulics.  Like Nixon and the prior winners, Sessions is well known for his exemplary business acumen and his unwavering commitment to economic development.

Joining Willis Smith in 1988, Sessions became a partner at the age of 29, and was named president in 2000. He has served on numerous community boards, including Florida’s West Coast Region of the American Red Cross and the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation. He was also a founding member and is still actively involved with the Gulf Coast CEO Forum, and has most recently joined the Gulf Coast Community Foundation Board. In addition, he was past Chairman of the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County for two consecutive years, and past chairman of the Sarasota County Education Foundation. 

Willis Smith Construction

[Community]  SouthTech Announces October Electronics Recycling Event

SouthTech, a provider of managed technology solutions serving businesses in Southwest Florida, has announced the date for its next electronics recycling event. A biannual event made possible by Quicksilver Recycling Services, SouthTech clients are invited to recycle old and outdated technology in a clean, sustainable manner. Quicksilver provides secure data destruction, destroying sensitive materials on-site and providing participants with certification stating that all materials have been securely disposed of.

This year, SouthTech invites the entire Sarasota community to attend what they are calling the “Data Dump,” to come and recycle old and out of use electronics. This includes devices ranging from cell phones to laptops to monitors. There will be a business card drop with several prizes, including the grand prize of a Microsoft Surface Go tablet.

The event will take place from 9am to 1pm on October 12 in the parking lot outside the SouthTech office, which is located in the Pen West Park office complex at the intersection of Fruitville and Tuttle. 


[TODAY]  FILM: Sun Xun: Time Spy , August 11 – February 16

A mesmerizing 3D animated film by Chinese painter and draughtsman, Sun Xun incorporates traditional techniques including ink painting, charcoal drawing and woodblock printing. He uses analog and digital technologies to explore pressing concerns of the time.

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[TODAY]  THEATER: Who Love You, Musical Tribute to Frankie Valli and Beyond , September 3 – October 13

Experience the signature songs and dance moves of one of the most successful acts in music history: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. A musical tribute to the group that has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, Who Loves You will have you clapping and singing along to hits like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Rag Doll,” “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night),” and many more you know and love.

Florida Studio Threatre, 1241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota

[TODAY]  GALLERY: CFAS: Halflants + Pichette , September 12 – October 10

Center for Architecture Sarasota opens its fifth season at the McCulloch Pavilion with its new Solo Architecture Series. The first exhibit of the series features the Sarasota firm of Halflants + Pichette. The opening reception is September 12 from 5:30pm until 7:30pm. Light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served. Information and registration is available at the CFAS website.

McCulloch Pavilion, 265 South Orange Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Van Wezel Friday Fest featuring Ari and the Alibis , September 20

FREE outdoor summertime concert series! The events run from 5-9pm and are located on the Bayside Lawn of the Van Wezel. Each of the four events will feature food trucks, beverage vendors and more – it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a summer sunset over Sarasota Bay. Rounding out Friday Fest 2019 is the high-energy band, Ari and the Alibis! Infusing Funk, Jazz and Samba with Blues Soul and Rock, this 5-piece group has earned two Grammy® nods (Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance) and an award for “Best original song by a local group” in the Bradenton Times “Best of the Bay.” Don’t miss Ari’s powerhouse voice filled with emotion and strength – live at the Van Wezel’s Friday Fest!

Van Wezel

[SOON]  GALA: ACS Real Men Wear Pink Fashion Show , September 21, 5pm

Don’t miss the 2019 Real Men Wear Pink fashion show at 5pm on September, 21st in the Grand Court at The Mall at UTC. The show will feature Sarasota and Manatee candidates and each man will be dressed by one of the stores in the UTC Mall. These men are raising awareness and funds to fight breast cancer in our community.  Public is Welcome. Reserved Seating available. Contact Bethany Lynch at bethanyk.lynch@cancer.org to reserve your seat. Let's support these men in our community who are dedicated to fighting breast cancer.

The Mall at UTC, 140 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  SPORTS: Totally Tailgate Benefiting Girls Inc. , September 21, 630pm

Get ready to tailgate at the 4th Annual Totally Tailgate benefiting Girls Inc. of Sarasota County. Girls Inc. invites you to the largest tailgate party under one roof with fan favorite food and drinks, classic games, raffles, multiple screens to watch your favorite football games and the opportunity to brag about the team nearest and dearest to your heart. Come out and represent your favorite team and support Girls Inc.

Michael's on East, 1212 South East Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34239

[SOON]  GALA: Sertoma Speakeasy and Casino Night , September 21, 7pm

Come out and support Sertoma Kids at the Speakeasy and Casino Night featuring casino-style games, hor d-oeuvres, cocktails, silent auction and raffle. Entertainment provided by Bill Buchman's Art of Jazz Band. Flappers, Hollywood Glam and Ganster attire is encouraged. True to Speakeasy tradition, the party will be held at an exclusive private location. Password and location will be provided via email after purchasing tickets. All proceeds benefit Sertoma Kids, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit outpatient speech clinic funded by Sertoma Club of Greater Sarasota. Purchase tickets at SertomaKids.org/news.

Private Club in Downtown Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Social Entrepreneurship Conference , September 21, 10am-3pm

Join Cross College Alliance at 10am at the Sudakoff Conference Center for the inaugural Social Entrepreneurship Conference. This free event features panels addressing social issues, green initiatives, and creative endeavors, as well as an incubator program and contest with cash prize. Creative professionals will also be on hand for student portfolio reviews. The conference brings together students from the CCA’s member institutions: New College of Florida, Ringling College of Art and Design, State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota, and University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. Free registration at seconference2019.eventbrite.com.

Sudakoff Conference Center, New College of Florida, 5845 General Dougher Place, Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Forty Carrots Free Community Speaker Event , September 26, 7pm-830pm

Register now for the Forty Carrots 17th annual Free Educational Community Speaker Event, “Raising Human Beings: Creating a Collaborative Partnership with Your Child,” featuring renowned child psychologist and best-selling author Ross W. Greene, Ph.D. Greene will share how to cultivate a better parent-child relationship using his empirically supported model of collaborative problem solving. Discover how to nurture empathy, resilience and independence, improve communication and avoid power struggles. RSVP is required. Register at www.fortycarrots.org.

Riverview High School Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota, FL

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Grey Matters A Symposium on Alzheimer's Research , September 27, 11am

Join us at the Grey Matters luncheon symposium at 11am on September 27th at The Ritz-Carlton. The luncheon will be hosted by The Roskamp Institute, and will involve presentations and interactive Q&As from their leadership team in addition to featuring New York Times bestselling author Kimberley Williams-Paisley as the Keynote Speaker. Attendees will hear updates on various areas of brain health, potential treatments and information for caregivers, preventative measures, early symptom warnings and clinical research updates regarding the potential for new treatment. Proceeds raised go towards research and development at The Roskamp Institute. 

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, 1111 Ritz Carlton Drive, Sarasota, FL

[SOON]  SPORTS: Real Men Wear Pink Crawl for a Cure , September 28, 11am-7pm

Join the American Cancer Society on September 28 for the inaugural Real Men Wear Pink Sarasota Manatee Crawl for a Cure. ACS’s football themed pub crawl will transport guests from one sports bar to another, so as not to miss any part of College Game Day! Ticket includes trolley ride to 5 stops, food and drink specials along the way, Real Men Wear Pink swag and goody bag and dinner at the final stop. The day will include raffle prizes, contest for the “Best in Pink” and more. All funds raised through this event support lifesaving research and essential patient programs and services for those affected by breast cancer. Ticket are $75. Contact Bethany Lynch at bethanyk.lynch@cancer.org to purchase tickets.

Evie's Tavern on Main Street, 1560 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  FILM: Gazebo Starlight Cinema Series , October 4

Join the Gazebo Starlight Cinema series with this month’s movie: Book of Life. With a screen stretched around the Gazebo pillars and family flicks back-projected from within, what better place than the facing grassy knoll to relax in a beach chair or curl up on a blanket? Bring the whole family to kick off your weekend while enjoying the park! Support local Venice Avenue businesses by bringing snacks, dinner, ice cream (or gelato!) to enjoy during the movie.

Downtown Venice Centennial Park, 200 West Venice Ave.

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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